Health care toppled inflation as the number one worry for many middle-income Americans for the first time since 2021, according to a Primerica survey.
Cooling inflation in March coupled with a strong jobs market were behind the renewed optimism over where the economy is headed, with 32% citing inflation as their top concern, the survey said. Only 21% of Americans cited fears of a recession as a top worry, compared to 25% saying the same in the last quarter.
Health care, however, rose in the ranks with 35% of middle-income households citing it as their top financial worry, the survey said.
Overall, 53% of Americans remained pessimistic about the economy, but 20% said they are “slightly more optimistic” about their finances compared with just 15% of respondents in the previous quarter., according to the survey.
“As the nation heads further into 2023, middle-income Americans are showing increasing confidence in their personal finances and are adapting to the current economic climate,” Primerica CEO Glenn J. Williams said in a statement. “While concerns about inflation are ebbing, higher costs continue to place strains on budgets causing families to prioritize more than ever.
“Our survey results highlight that financial security is key to navigating the ever-changing economy and that guidance and expertise can help guide households to better financial security,” Williams continued.
If you are struggling to pay off debt, you could consider using a personal loan to consolidate your payments at a lower interest rate, saving you money each month. You can visit Credible to find your personalized interest rate without affecting your credit score.
INFLATION AND RISING COSTS PUSHES AMERICANS TO MAKE RISKY FINANCIAL CHOICES: SURVEY
High health care costs push many to delay care
The rising cost of healthcare pushing many Americans to delay or forgo medical care could be why more middle-income Americans have listed it as a top concern.
Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents said they or a family member had to delay medical care because of cost in 2022, according to a Gallup survey.
Meanwhile, 43% of Americans said they couldn’t comfortably cover medical costs exceeding $249, while 54% said they would delay payment on an unaffordable bill, according to another survey by AccessOne.
What’s more, 42% of Americans said that they didn’t have an emergency fund that could help cover things like a health care crisis, according to the Primerica survey. Of the respondents who did have one, 49% said they had tapped this fund in the past year.
If you are dealing with unexpected expenses, you could consider using a personal loan to pay down debt at a lower interest rate, saving you money each month. You can visit Credible to compare multiple lenders at once and choose the one with the best interest rate for you.
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Most Americans expect a tax refund this year
Most Americans (60%) expected to receive a tax refund this year, although 35% said the amount would likely be less than last year, according to the Primerica survey.
Thirty-seven percent of Americans said they planned to use their refund to pay bills, 34% said they would use it to pay down debt and 33% said they would use it to build savings.
An end to several pandemic-era tax breaks means some Americans could be in line for a smaller refund this year. The Child Tax Credit (CTC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child and Dependent Care Credit are among the affected credits.
Last year, the average tax refund was $3,039, according to the IRS, an increase of over $200 from the prior year primarily due to COVID-19 tax credits.
“…These survey results show that [Americans are] already planning to use their refunds to build financial security, putting themselves in a strong position as they work to achieve their financial goals,” Amy Crews Cutts, an economic consultant to Primerica, said in a statement.
If you think you will receive a smaller refund this tax season but have debt you need to pay down, you could consider consolidating it with a personal loan. Credible can help you find your personalized interest rate without affecting your credit score.
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